ME sufferers report less motion sickness when using a computer screen while wearing acupressure travel wristbands

If you are a sufferer of ME and are affected by motion sickness when using a computer screen, you may find it helpful to try using acupressure travel wristbands. These travel wristbands are widely available from most major chemists and pharmacies, and my ME clients report positive results when using them.

While motion sickness most commonly occurs when your body is being transported by a powered-vehicle, whether this is a car, boat, train, plane or even a fairground ride, it is now widely accepted that there is form of motion sickness evident in the computer world, dubbed “cybersickness”, caused by even seemingly static images on computer screens.

Cybersickness is caused by sensory conflict, with the brain struggling to interpret the difference between the perceived motion versus the actual motion, such as when playing computer games and your view of the game world is seen as though through the character’s eyes, and the character moves in the game world whilst you remain stationary.

When viewing an image on a computer screen, the perception is that there is no actual motion and the image is both still and stable, however, in reality it is constantly being redrawn but so fast it’s usually very difficult for the brain to perceive the refresh rate and therefore to acknowledge the movement.

Now, for ME sufferers, who are more susceptible than most to subtle changes in their environment, the continual refreshing of a computer screen, and the redrawing of the image on the screen, whether a moving game or a page of static text, is sufficient to set up this sensory conflict causing the same symptoms as motion sickness - stomach discomfort, headache, dizziness and nausea.

Wearing travel wristbands helps to combat this imbalance just as it would true motion sickness. The wristbands press on a particular acupressure point on the inside of the wrist, and the stimulation of this point helps to alleviate the symptoms. This means that sufferers can then comfortably use a computer screen for longer periods of time without feeling sick or suffering the same degree of fatigue.

Acupressure travel bands are safe for use by anybody, even if you are taking medication, and can be worn all day. While they usually come in a stretchy ‘one size fits all’ variety it is also possible to buy adjustable wristbands which may be more comfortable if your wrists are smaller or larger than the average.

Even if you are wearing the travel wristbands, do remember to take adequate breaks to rest from your computer screen, and build up to using the screen for longer periods of time gradually. For example, if you can currently manage 20 minutes, limit yourself to a five-minute increase only. If this is successful, then you can extend it by another five minutes when you feel ready. You will need to monitor and manage the time you spend on your computer, but if you plan it sensibly you should be able to enjoy the increased time without feeling overly exhausted or sick, which means more time to catch up with friends, surf the net or complete your family history!